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Photo by Bob Gentry ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

Now comes another year, another chance to say thank you to old friends for staying close no matter what . . .


Whew, that was close. I prefer Saturday the 13th to Friday the 13th. Time for the stuff that is Saturday's.


Nicky Williams sent along these thoughts


Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say: When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "if I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.

The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the hometown industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he said, "if I were any better I'd be twins! Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of my soon to be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything." "Yes, I replied."

The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.

I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.


"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.


"Here are some cute stories that reader's Digest has yet to get its grubby hands on! *smile* love Stargirl"


I was taking a shower when my 2-year-old son came into the
bathroom and wrapped himself in toilet paper. Although he made a mess, he looked adorable, so I ran for my camera and took a few shots. They came out so well that I had copies made and included one with each of our Christmas cards. 

Days later, a relative called about the picture, laughing hysterically and suggesting I take a closer look. Puzzled, I stared at the photo and was shocked to discover that in addition to my son, I had captured my reflection in the mirror wearing nothing but a camera!


An acquaintance of mine who is a physician told this story about her then-four-year-old daughter. On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. "Be still, my heart," thought my friend, "my daughter wants to follow in my
footsteps!" Then the child spoke into the instrument, "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"


A certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, "I'm Mr.
Sugarbrown's daughter." Her mother told her this was wrong, she must say, "I'm Jane Sugarbrown." The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, "Aren't you Mr. Sugarbrown's daughter?" She replied, "I thought I was, but mother says I'm not."


A little girl asked her mother, "Can I go outside and play with
the boys?" Her mother replied, "No, you can't play with the boys, they're too rough." The little girl thought about it for a few
moments and asked, "If I can find a smooth one, can I play with


A boy had reached four without giving up the habit of sucking his thumb, though his mother had tried everything from bribery to reasoning to painting it with lemon juice to discourage the
habit. Finally she tried threats, warning her son that, "If you
don't stop sucking your thumb, your stomach is going to blow up like a balloon." Later that day, walking in the park, mother and son saw a pregnant woman sitting on a bench. The four-year-old considered her gravely for a minute, then spoke to her saying, "Uh-oh. I know what you've been doing."


A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were
on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be
quiet in church?" One bright little girl replied, "Because people
are sleeping."


"Hello, Rod! I loved your responses to the last time I sent laws via Beth's Fun Facts. Sooo here are some more you might enjoy. Sharon"


*A Cotton Valley, Louisiana law forbids cows and horses from sleeping in a bakery. [Quite right, they should have to repose in stalls the same as the rest of us.]

*In California, it is illegal to hunt whales from your automobile. It
is also against the law to use your dirty underwear as a dust rag.
[Unless you apply your soiled shorts to the barnacles that settle on whales backs.]

*It's illegal to sleep with chickens in Clawson City, Michigan.
[Honest officer when I said I go to sleep with the chickens, it was only a figure of speech]

*In Wisconsin it is illegal to walk your elephant without a leash.
[And that's because pooper-scoopers for Elephants are not readily available at the local K-Mart.]

*It's illegal to pawn your wooden leg in Delaware. [Now you tell me.]

*Goats can't legally wear trousers in Massachusetts. [Unless they are designer genes.]

*In Cleveland, Ohio it is illegal to catch mice without a hunting
[But once I've got my license am I allowed to use my AK47 on them?]


A couple of words to live by from Edward Gohn.


A person needs only two tools. WD-40 and duct tape.
If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40.
If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.

Any and all compliments can be handled by simply saying "Thank you" though it helps if you say it with a Southern accent.


This new set just arrived from Sharon A. Sewell.


Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand.


I am in shape. Round is my shape.


Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.


Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.


Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.


Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.


Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.


Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.


An optimist thinks that this is the best possible world. A pessimist fears that this is true.


There will always be death and taxes; however, death doesn't get worse every year.


I am not fat. I am a nutritional overachiever.


I am having an out of money experience.


I plan on living forever. So far, so good.


A day without sunshine is like night.


It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.


Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever.


Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone.


Life not only begins at forty, it also begins to show.


You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stopped laughing.


And believe me it's an important one for all of us in California. Alas, as California goes, often so goes the nation.

Subject: Electricity Price Increase

Southern California Edison's CEO, Mr. John E. Bryson's salary for 1999 was $999,000.00. His bonus for 1999 was $1,260,000.00.

Robert D. Glen, CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric earned well over $2,000,000.00 in salary and bonuses for 1999.

The parent company of Southern California, Edison International, has $71,800,000.00 in assets. (Reference: L.A. Times 12/30/00)

Edison and PG&E want an increase of 79% in electricity rates starting January 4, 2001.

In California we are paying more than the national average for

The California Public Utilities will likely grant PG&E and Edison the increase of 79 to 80 percent increase.

Write Governor Gray Davis. His e-mail address is:


The above statistics and request come from my friend Wes Fish who lives up the coast from me, I urge all Californians to join me in following his lead and writing Governor Davis.

More than forty states are contemplating deregulating utilities, if you live outside of California and yours is one of them, think about what happened to us. We deregulated exactly one year ago. In San Diego energy price increases have already tripled the average gas and electric bill.

See you tomorrow with "Some of the Best." Sleep warm.

                       RM 01/12/2000 Previously unpublished                               

Details of Rod's upcoming concerts and appearances can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Horatio Alger o Kevin Anderson o Army Archerd o Jo Bjelke - Peterson o Sandra Church o Jon Cypher o Kay Francis o Billy Gray o Julia Louis-Dreyfus o Penelope Ann Miller o Richard Moll o Jeff Morrow o Charles Nelson Reilly o Robert Stack o Brandon Tartikoff o Sophie Tucker o Gwen Verdon
Rod's random thoughts The best way to cure a cold is to go to bed with a good book or a friend who's read one.

Tune your enemies out.

Most maxims are clichés, including this one.


The eternal magic of eternal things
sends the dreamer out into the world,
                            brings him home again.
One wind makes another.
Recent rain reminds us of a rain ago.
Sunshine is the same each time
seen through different eyes,
                   felt on different skin,
it is still a wonder and a prize
as love and loving always is again.

I begin today. In life, in love,
                 in everything
the same start I had every yesterday
not concerned with where I am,
                 where I have been,
only where I go and to what end.

Does rain provide a resurrection
or plow a final resting place,
does love once done inhibit love,
life once lived stop life
from spouting from a dying limb?
There must be winter questions
since answers only come when winter
                                 comes again.

Some songs do not exist without the singer
certain rhymes are trapped and lost
                       on certain pages
but these are only songs and rhymes.
Eternal magic still rampages
on the inside of eternal things.
Fire. The river. Plum and cherry blossom
and the vigilance of all the visions
the dreamer carries back from traveled worlds.

I have been thinking about
                   the absence of love.

How useless April or December is
without another ear to turn to
or another's eyes to see
a certain wonder exactly in the way
                     it came to us.

A little melancholia for the final act
a bit of excess baggage shuffled off
an old coat traded in for new.

Nothing is quite
what we think it is.
Clichés become so for good reason,
the best contain a universal truth.
It is never wrong to want,
but you cannot have everything -
where would you put it ?

- from "The Sound of Solitude," 1988
© 1957, 1964, 1988, 2000, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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